When I participated in activities organized by Hillel, the world's largest Jewish campus organization, in college in New York, I was a lonely undergrad from Israel, trying to make friends in the Big Apple.
In the black-and-white terminology of Israel, I am considered "secular," so joining a synagogue was not an option.
Yet Hillel, with its pluralistic approach and variety of activities, was one.
Years later, while driving to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, the capital of Israeli cynicism, I wondered what would bring an Israeli university student to join Hillel, where relationships are easily established by asking the two ultimate questions Israelis use to relate to each other: "Where are you from?" and "Where did you serve in the army?"
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